Tag Archives: Steven Gonzalez

Burbank, Burroughs Baseball Both Set Sights High

By Rick Assad

 

It happens every spring, but there is still nothing sweeter than the sound of a baseball bat hitting a ball.

For Burbank High and Burroughs, the nonleague season is nearly over as the Bulldogs went 2-5 after games in the Easton Tournament, Quartz Hill tourney and Babe Herman Tournament, while the Indians are 6-6 after playing in the same tourneys.

The Pacific League is set to begin next week when the Bulldogs visit Arcadia on March 27 and the Indians host Glendale on the same day.

Burbank’s infield huddles after Coach Bob Hart makes a pitching change in a recent nonleague game against Chatsworth. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank welcomes longtime city rival Burroughs on May 8 and visits the Indians on May 11.

The Bulldogs, who went 15-10 and 10-4 in league for third place, advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2017.

Burbank is talented and deep, but not overly experienced.

That’s just one reason for the substandard nonleague record and that the team played very good teams.

But Burbank Coach Bob Hart believes this will make his squad that much better when the league portion of the schedule commences.

“We want to play as many good teams as we can, even if we’re not going to win many games because it’s going to help us when the Pacific League comes around,” he said. “I could schedule teams I know we can beat, but in the long run that’s not really going to help us.”

Burbank’s infield includes senior first baseman Abiezer Delgado, while sophomore Jacob Duarte will also see time at first base.

Senior first baseman Nathan Palafox takes the throw in a nonleague match versus Northview. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Junior Matthew Porras, junior Kenny Won and sophomore Daniel Ruiz will spend time at second base.

Senior Max Meltzer will play shortstop, junior Davis Mieliwocki will patrol third base and senior Matt Shaugabay will be the catcher.

The Bulldogs’ outfield will have senior Matt Moreno in left field and center field, sophomore Oakley Spens will toil in center field while junior Andrew De La Torre will play right field, as will Duarte.

Senior Austin Ortega, along with juniors Trent Anderson, Cody Winters, Vincent Romano and Geovork Leklyan will also spend time in the outfield.

The pitching staff is filled with reliable arms and they include Porras, Ruiz, junior Joey Clark, De La Torre, Mieliwocki and Shaugabay, who will be the closer.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they went 14-13 and 8-6 in the league, but lost 2-1 in the opening round of the CIF playoffs to Santa Barbara.

Senior catcher Matt Shaugabay is a key cog offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Although young in the middle infield and more juniors than seniors on the team, I feel we can be competitive with anyone in the league,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said.

The pitching staff is deep and will be led by junior Nicco Chuidian, who had some stellar moments in 2017.

Seniors Steven Gonzalez, Brandon Ortega and Joe Metcalf will add needed depth for Sherwood, who stresses defense and pitching as major priorities.

Junior submarine artist Xavier Dubon hopes to be a starting pitcher while juniors Andres Salazar and Brandon Aguilar will battle it out for the closer’s role.

The infield is solid and somewhat young and includes senior and captain Nathan Palafox at first base.

Burroughs senior Brandon Ortega, seen in a recent game against Northview, is one of many pitchers Coach Craig Sherwood has at his disposal. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Junior Collin Johnson will be the designated hitter and the backup first baseman.

Sophomore Brian Garcia will play shortstop and sophomore Devin Esquivel will see action at second base.

Seniors Brandon Giraldo and Gonzalez will play third base and junior Julian Jaramillo will also see time at the position.

According to Sherwood, whoever hits the most effective, will see the majority of the time at the position.

Behind the plate will be senior Matthew Diaz and Jaramillo, and once again, whoever hits with the authority, will spend most of the time behind the plate.

Senior Revin Diego, who played extremely well during the winter according to Sherwood, will play left field.

Chuidian and junior Michael Le will battle for time in center field, senior Andrew Jacob Barrera will patrol left field, while junior Dylan Rolando and Salazar will also see action in left field.

 

Burroughs Baseball Drops Opener Against Thousand Oaks

The result was certainly not what Burroughs High baseball coach Craig Sherwood was hoping for Saturday when his team officially opened the season with an 8-2 defeat at the hands of visiting Thousand Oaks High in the Easton Tournament.

But one thing Sherwood did come away with was a good idea of figuring out the true identity of his team.

He used seven pitchers in the game.

“We’re trying to find guys who get ahead in the count and can throw strikes and keep the ball down,” Sherwood said. “Right now I can’t afford to have a guy walk a guy or hit a guy, especially when you’re down four or five runs.  I have a deep pitching staff and I have a lot of guys who are pretty equal. Now it’s a matter of figuring out who can do the job for us in pressure situations.”

(Photo by ©Ross A Benson)

Burroughs starting pitcher Steven Gonzalez looked sharp early on retiring the first batters he faced.

But the Thousand Oaks bats started connecting in the third inning as the Lancers hit four doubles in the inning, including three in a row from Jacob Wilson, Fresno State-bound Matt Ottino and Alex Mueller.

“I think our starting pitcher did a great job and then started getting affected by the umpire’s strike zone. He started getting the ball up and that’s how he got hit,” Sherwood said.

Burroughs got a solo home run from designated hitter Collin Johnson in the bottom half of the inning, as he put pitcher Garrett Clarke’s offering onto the track in right field. The Indians had at least one hit in five innings against the Lancers, who are coached by former Major League All-Star Jack Wilson.

Thousand Oaks, which went 23-8 last season and plays in the tough Marmonte League, added a run in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth.

(Photo by ©Ross A Benson)

Andrew Jacob Barrera reached base in the sixth inning for Burroughs by drawing a walk. He then scored on a double by Julian Jaramillo.

Sherwood was very impressed with junior closer Andres Salazar, who retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.

“That’s one of the best innings I’ve ever seen pitched and I’ve seen a lot of good pitchers,” Sherwood said of Salazar.

Burroughs Brian Garcia led off the bottom of the first with a hit and went to second base on a passed ball.

Sherwood said not being able to bring Garcia home could have been a turning point.

“If we get him in, maybe it changes the complexion of the game,” he said.

Burroughs Baseball Loses To Crescenta Valley In Five Innings

By Rick Assad

 

It took roughly 40 minutes to play and when it was over an unexpected offensive avalanche hit the Burroughs High baseball team.

After that first inning, Crescenta Valley managed one run, but the sum resulted in a 10-0, five-inning victory for the Falcons in a Pacific League match on Friday at Tomahawk Field.

It was a long day for Burroughs which collected one hit and fell to Crescenta Valley 10-0 in five innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Three days earlier, when these two met at Stengel Field, the Falcons, who are ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division II and now own a 22-game winning skein, prevailed 4-0.

The victim was sophomore pitcher Niccolo Chuidian, who faced seven batters and collected one out before being lifted in favor of senior Matthew Rudas.

“I tried to find my rhythm, but I couldn’t,” Chuidian said of his poor outing in which he walked three, hit a batter with one hit allowed. “It happens to everyone. But I’ve got to learn from it. It’s a tough loss.”

Rudas ventured four and two-third innings, surrendering four hits with four walks, one hit batter and five strikeouts.

“This was a case of a great pitcher who wasn’t on,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “I’m not worried about that [letdown]. It was an aberration.”

Sherwood continued: “It happens to good teams and we’re a good team,” he said.

Riley Hooper, shown on the mound in a recent game, had the only hit for the Indians in the fourth inning. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian walked leadoff hitter senior Kewin Ledesma and then hit freshman Will Grimm with an offering.

Senior Scott Vinceri popped up to Chuidian, who then walked junior Trevor Beer, the opposing pitcher.

Senior Nico Arredondo grounded a potential double-play ball to senior shortstop Justin Palafox, who bobbled it for an error.

“Once he hit it and the runner was moving, he blocked my view,” Palafox said of the rare miscue. “We’re going to pick up our heads. Monday we have practice. We have a chance to play Burbank twice this week.”

The Indians are 12-12 and 7-5 in league and will visit the Bulldogs (9-3 in the Pacific League) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will host Burbank on Friday at 6 p.m.

Up stepped senior Max Meyer, who lined a booming double to right center that brought in three runners.

When Chuidian walked senior Jaimy Blank, his work was over. Rudas then allowed an infield hit to senior Charles Weinmann that scored a run.

After senior William Rees singled to left, a bases-loaded walk to Ledesma forced in another run and Beer’s single up the middle plated two runners that capped the nine-run, four-hit frame.

“You can’t see that coming,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres said of the final lopsided score. “They were a double play away from getting out of that.”

The Falcons (24-1 and 12-0 in league), who are a game ahead of second-place Arcadia, added a run in the fourth inning when Beer doubled to center field and scored on Blank’s one-out grounder.

Beer allowed just one hit, a leadoff single to right center in the fourth inning from senior Riley Hooper.

Beer then fanned senior Erik Gonzalez, junior Brandon Giraldo and junior Steven Gonzalez.

“I’m not complaining,” said Beer, who struck out nine and walked three with one hit batter of the first-inning explosion. “I went to the bullpen and kept loose.”

Burroughs Baseball Routs Glendale, 8-0, In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

 

A first inning, four-run outburst made Niccolo Chuidian’s six-inning stretch on the mound that much easier as the right-handed pitcher was the recipient of an 8-0 Burroughs High victory over Glendale on Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field.

“I don’t think that he had his really good stuff,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of his sophomore hurler. “That early lead really helped him.”

Riley Hooper collected a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning against Glendale. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

In that opening frame, the Indians trotted eight batters to the plate and saw the first six reach base off losing pitcher, senior Jacob Rangel, who went one and two-third innings, surrendering five of the eight hits with two walks and one hit batter.

Junior Andrew Jacob Barrera delivered a clutch two-run triple to left center that plated freshman Ricardo Perez, who singled up the middle and senior Riley Hooper, who walked.

Niccolo Chuidian wasn’t super sharp, but took the 8-0 win. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The first run was tallied by senior Justin Palafox, who led off with a hit to right field and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Senior Brandon Martinez had a run-producing single to left field that brought home Barrera.

Chuidian wasn’t especially sharp over those six frames, hitting three batters with one walk, but allowed only three hits, struck out six and recorded his fifth win without a loss this season.

“I felt normal out there, but I was missing high a lot,” said Chuidian. “But I got the job done.”

Chuidian said his mechanics were slightly off. “I want to be consistent with my release point and today I wasn’t,” he noted. “I’m always looking to be consistent. I think that I’m stronger now than when the season began.”

Burroughs (9-7 and 5-1 in league) extended its advantage to 5-0 in the second inning when Palafox singled with one out, scooted to second base on Perez’s grounder and scored when Hooper was safe on an error.

Center fielder Brandon Giraldo camps under this pop up . Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians tacked on a run in the third inning to make it 6-0 when Martinez walked to lead off the frame and eventually scored on two errors by the Nitros (1-15-1 and 0-7 in league).

In the fourth, the Indians made it 7-0 on Hooper’s triple to right center as Perez crossed the plate after walking to open the inning.

The second run made it 8-0 on Barrera’s sacrifice fly to right as Hooper came around.

Burroughs junior Steven Gonzalez singled in the fourth inning with two out and pinch runner, freshman Adan Perez was left stranded while junior Matthew Diaz added a two-out base hit in the sixth inning, and was also left stranded.

Senior Henrik Buchanan worked the seventh inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout and a hit batter.

Senior Bryce Wong collected a pair of singles for Glendale, which played the Indians close three days earlier.

“That was a different team than the one we watched on Tuesday,” Sherwood said. “It seems that we always play better on Friday. Maybe it’s home cooking?”

Burroughs, Burbank Baseball Reach For The Stars

By Rick Assad

You know that the baseball season has begun when the weather begins to heat up and the sky turns a bright blue.

For Burroughs High and city rival Burbank, the two are looking to have a solid year and to make a dent in the Pacific League standings.

The Indians have divided four games in the Easton Tournament and are 3-4 overall this season.

Pitching is king. Burroughs has a number of solid arms in its arsenal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs opens league play at Hoover on March 28 and visit Burbank on May 9 and host the Bulldogs on May 12.

“I’m not really sure what I have this season,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We’ve been good at times this season and we’ve been not so good.”

In 2016, the Indians had a successful campaign after tying Crescenta Valley for the top spot in league.

Burbank will rely on steady work in the infield and outfield. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs began the season by winning the prestigious Easton tourney, 1-0, over highly-ranked Harvard-Westlake behind ace Kyle Nicol, who is now playing for Cal State Northridge.

Nicol’s place will be picked up by a bevy of competent arms like seniors Riley Hooper, Matthew Rudas, junior Salvador Cabezas and sophomore Niccolo Chuidian.

Additionally, Sherwood, who has been a longtime coach, will also have on the mound senior Henrik Buchanan, senior infielder Brandon Martinez, junior Jacob Real and junior Brandon Ortega.

Fundamentals are always stressed under Burroughs Coach Craig Sherwood. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

All of these hurlers will need to be efficient in order for the Indians to repeat what took place a season ago.

If the old saying that pitching and defense wins games, the Indians, who went 19-7 and 12-2 in league, will need this to be their mantra.

“I think CV’s the favorite to win league this year,” said Sherwood, whose team fell in the CIF Southern Section opening round in 2016. “They have strong pitching and they have good tradition. Burbank is much improved and I think we’re going to be in the mix along with Pasadena and Arcadia.”

For Burbank, under Coach Bob Hart, working in the batting cage is crucial. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sherwood stresses being able to catch and throw the baseball.

“Defense is always our No. 1 priority,” he said. “If you don’t hit well, you can always rely on your defense. It’s really important to have a good defense.”

Burroughs has several key players returning and they include senior infielder Justin Palafox, who batted .434 with 16 runs batted in and 17 runs scored, and junior first baseman Nathan Palafox, his younger brother.

“In high school, you don’t rebuild because there isn’t free agency,” Sherwood pointed out. “You reload and continue the winning tradition that we’ve built here.”

The other members include senior outfielder Angel Estrada, senior infielder Erik Gonzalez, junior outfielder/catcher Steven Gonzalez, junior catcher Matthew Diaz, junior outfielder Brandon Giraldo and junior outfielder/catcher Revin Diego.

The rest are junior outfielder Daniel Leonard, junior outfielder Andrew Jacob Barrera, junior outfielder Casey Cromie and freshman infielder Ricardo Perez.

For a Burroughs runner, it’s on your mark, get set and go. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which finished 9-13, 8-6 in league and lost to Mayfair in a postseason wild-card game, also has designs on being in the hunt.

Whether Burbank, which went 3-2 in the Easton tourney and is 3-3 this campaign, will be in the running actually depends on members of the highly-successful football team that include seniors Danny Porras and Jake Kelley.

Both Porras and Kelley have sustained fairly serious injuries, so Coach Bob Hart can’t count on them to play in that many games.

“If we’re healthy, I think we’re capable of being right there,” said Hart of the league race which begins at Muir on March 28. “If we’re not healthy, then the other guys have an opportunity to seize the moment and step up.”

For the Bulldogs, there’s no getting around taking grounders. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras is a first baseman and pitcher and was also tabbed honorable mention, while the other projected starters are senior and all-league pick, Henry Leake, at third base, sophomore Davis Mieliwocki at first base, senior Johnathan Castaneda at second base, junior Maxwell Meltzer at shortstop and junior Matthew Shaugabay at catcher.

The outfield will consist of senior Chris Minnick in left field, senior Branden Phillips in center field and junior Abiezer Delgado, who will also be the designated hitter, in right field.

Seniors Chris Guerra and Owen Ruiz will see time in the outfield as will senior Javier Reyes, who can also play catcher.

The pitching staff will be paced by senior Matt Lungaro and senior Colby Vosgien.

“I think our pitching is going to be fine,” Hart said. “Colby is a left-hander and has been injured, but we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to help us.”

Others on the squad include sophomore third baseman/outfielder Matthew Porras, junior first baseman/outfielder John Ennis and junior outfielder Erik Higgins.